Monday, January 6, 2014

crock pot grinders

So for those of you who don't know what a grinder is... be prepared to be amazed! A grinder is basically a warm hoagie, and they're usually filled with Italian meats and cheeses. This version is made in the crock pot so it's even easier than a regular grinder!
Start with bread. Nothing super fancy- this is just a crusty sourdough loaf.
Here's where you start the sandwich assembly. To slice the bread, make even slices throughout the entire loaf without slicing all the way through. Remember, you need an odd number of slices to make an even number of sandwiches.
Start layering your meats and cheeses! On the bottom is the provolone cheese, then salami and finally some tavern ham. Top the whole thing off with some pickled banana peppers.
Stuff those little meat and cheese packages between the slices, leaving two parts of bread between each meat package. Remember, we'll be slicing this all up later to make the actual sandwiches.
On the bottom of your crock pot, place either mini pie pans or some wadded up aluminum foil to keep the sandwich off the bottom. Then add about a 1/4 cup of water.
Now here are your options! Either place the crock pot on warm for 6 hours or low for 4 hours. Either way, the sandwiches will be warm and delicious and not burnt or gummy at all!
Remove the aluminum foil package and let sit for a minute to cool. Slice the sandwiches up and serve with mayonnaise, or oil, or whatever you'd like! You'll love this.
Crock Pot Grinders
From Big Red Kitchen!
1 round loaf crusty bread
8 slices provolone cheese
8 slices tavern ham
8 slices hard salami
Pickled banana pepper rings
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup water

Slice bread 7 times without cutting all the way through. Lay out the meat filling by layering provolone cheese, ham and salami. Top with banana pepper rings, salt and pepper. Stuff the meat and cheese between the slices of bread to make 4 sandwiches. Wrap bread completely with aluminum foil. Place a wad of aluminum foil on the bottom of the crock pot and pour in the water. Place wrapped sandwiches on top of the wad of aluminum and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours, or warm for 6 hours. Remove from crock pot and let rest for a minute. Slice sandwiches completely through and serve with mayonnaise or oil. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

creamy cajun chicken pasta

Yee gawds, this was good! I actually have a few homicidal thoughts when I realized that Ed had eaten all the leftovers. ALL the leftovers. Not a speck left for me. How rude, right? Well, guess I'd better make some more!
This recipe starts out with some delicious and kicky spices for the chicken. Cajun spices, of course. This is Cajun Chicken Pasta, after all. My Cajun seasoning is a combination of black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and ground thyme. Then I just add a bit of salt and this will go into a pot!
First, I boiled the pasta in this big stock pot. Then, I drained the pasta and started to cook the chicken in the same pot. That chicken is going to be cooked in olive oil and butter. Just because of... you know... the flavor. Plus the chicken will get some good color and that butter and olive oil sauce will become the basis of the creamy sauce. Once the chicken is cooked, pull it all out and add in the next ingredients.
This is onion, garlic and orange bell pepper. I like to make thin slices of these because it almost mimics the pasta. But you can dice it if you want.
Now for some sun dried tomato. This will add some sweetness and tartness all at the same time. I do dice the sun dried tomato.
Now the chicken goes back in, as well as the cream and the cheese. Now there's only one thing left to add!
And that, of course, is the pasta! Can't be Pasta without noodles! This is some linguine, but you can use regular spaghetti and fettuccine if you'd like. That's up to you. Just mix it all up, add some green onions and extra cheese and you have yourself a regular winner of a dinner! Just guard the leftovers.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Adapted from!
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
1/2 lb linguine, cooked to package directions
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasonings- homemade or store bought
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced
Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain, set aside and keep warm. In the same stock pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Meanwhile, season chicken with Cajun seasoning and drop into hot oil and butter. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan, set aside and keep warm. Add in sliced bell pepper, sliced onion and minced garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add in sun dried tomato and cook and additional minute. Add in chicken, heavy creamy and parmesan cheese. Cook for 3 minutes to thicken, then add in pasta. Toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and additional cheese. Enjoy!